Changing to lowmaintenance grasses

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You can choose from many kinds of lawn grasses, some less troublesome than others. As with any plant, different varieties of lawn grass vary in their susceptibility to pests and diseases, their need for water, their resistance to weeds, and their need for mowing and other care. If you'll be installing a new lawn or replacing an old one, pick a low-care variety that

  • Is suited to your region
  • Is resistant to pests and diseases
  • Uses the least amount of water possible

Beating the lawn police

Of all crazy things, many communities and homeowner associations actually demand that residents own and maintain conventional lawns. They fine or even arrest violators, criminalizing those who prefer wildflowers, vegetables, or perennial borders over turf (as well as those who don't mow often enough). Some homeowner associations can even lay claim on your property for your defiance of their regulations.

If you live under such oppressive conditions, lobby for change. Organize like-minded neighbors to educate the community about the negative effects of turf and the benefits of sustainable landscaping, and offer good examples of beautiful, sustainable lawn alternatives. If you're up for it, defy the law and make an example of your yard. You're sure to make people think, and perhaps you'll be able to make a real difference in your community.

Hybrid tall fescues are the current candidates in many areas, but the best choice varies from place to place. Talk to experienced lawn professionals who are familiar with local conditions.

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